NO.2 GAUGE / LNWR / C.1910 / BING & BASSETT-LOWKE

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All credit to and via TCA Western

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Using its heritage as specialists in lithographed tinplate sheets, the Bing company (Gerbruder or Brothers Bing) created its first trains in the 1880s.

They produced models for the British market, for resale by Bassett-Lowke and AW Gamage, and for the US and domestic German markets under their own brand name. Incredible success followed; by 1914, Bing was the largest toy company on the planet with 5,000 employees, compared to Märklin’s mere 600.

It was jealousy and prejudice that forced Stefan Bing out of business; US xenophobia and German anti-Semitism.

In 1916, Ives and AC Gilbert formed the Toy Manufacturers Association and lobbied ruthlessly to protect domestic manufacturing and to repel ‘foreigners’, adding massive unfair tariffs to German toys.

And then, as Stefan Bing and his family were Jewish, they were forced out of Germany by the growing Nazi threat, moving to Britain where Bing was greeted warmly by Bassett-Lowke, his old business partner.

By 1932, there was no way back for the once-sparkling business, and it ceased trading.

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NO.2 GAUGE / LNWR / C.1905 / CARETTE & BASSETT-LOWKE

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All credit to and via TCAWestern

Georges Carette began making trains with the Bing brothers in 1886, before taking over the reigns of the business in the mid-1890s. At that point, having tired of making magic lanterns (as I suspect one would), he turned his companies talent for lithographed metal sheet to the construction of tinplate model locomotives and rolling stock. He secured his future by contracting with Wenman Joesph Bassett-Lowke to produce models for the British market.

Like Bing, Fuld (of Voltamp) and Basset-Lowke himself, Carette came from a wonderfully-talented Jewish family, and at the outbreak of WWI he was advised to leave Germany and head to France. By 1918, like many minority-owned businesses in Germany, the company was forcefully ‘liquidated’ and Carette as a train-making entity was no more.

 

NO.2 GAUGE / LNWR (WCJS) / C.1910 / BASSETT-LOWKE

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From the fiftypointeight collection.

Two No.2 gauge coaches of the West Coast Joint Stock (WCJS) line of the LNWR, both carrying London (Euston) to Liverpool (Riverside) destination boards. Wooden construction with glass windows, metal bogies/buffers and brass handles. Handmade by Bassett-Lowke in Northampton around 1910, as part of their premium coach line.

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